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Obama Fundraiser Provided PR Boost to Brutal Dictator

President Obama Thursday will walk into a ritzy fundraiser in New York City hosted by a woman whose magazine provided a public relations boost to one of the most ruthless dictators of our century.

Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, ran in her magazine a glowing March 2011 tribute to the first lady of Syria, Asma al-Assad. The profile provided a platform for her husband, the dictator Bashar Assad, to try to refurbish his image through a depiction of his wife as glamorous and compassionate.

How bad could he be, after all, if he was married to such a wonderful woman?

Thursday’s fundraiser will be at the home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker in New York, but Wintour is co-hosting.

Here she is promoting the event.

It’s going to be FABULOUS!!

Though the Vogue article appeared just before Assad’s repression of the Syrian rebellion really heated up, his brutal methods were longstanding and well known before then, and his wife should never have been given such a venue.

From the article, which earlier this year was scrubbed from Vogue’s website:

Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies. Her style is not the couture-and-bling dazzle of Middle Eastern power but a deliberate lack of adornment. She’s a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement. Paris Match calls her “the element of light in a country full of shadow zones.” She is the first lady of Syria.

Not only does the piece glorify Mrs. Assad, it suggests there’s an upside to the country’s repression:

Syria is known as the safest country in the Middle East, possibly because, as the State Department’s Web site says, “the Syrian government conducts intense physical and electronic surveillance of both Syrian citizens and foreign visitors.” It’s a secular country where women earn as much as men and the Muslim veil is forbidden in universities, a place without bombings, unrest, or kidnappings, but its shadow zones are deep and dark. Asma’s husband, Bashar al-Assad, was elected president in 2000, after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad, with a startling 97 percent of the vote. In Syria, power is hereditary. The country’s alliances are murky. How close are they to Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah? There are souvenir Hezbollah ashtrays in the souk, and you can spot the Hamas leadership racing through the bar of the Four Seasons. Its number-one enmity is clear: Israel. But that might not always be the case.

And as you can see from this photo that ran with the article, Mr. Assad is just a regular family guy.

What is also damning is Ms. Wintour’s explanation of her decision to run the piece, as the offered in response to a New York Times article published Saturday. She said:

Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society. Subsequent to our interview, as the terrible events of the past year and a half unfolded in Syria, it became clear that its priorities and values were completely at odds with those of Vogue. The escalating atrocities in Syria are unconscionable and we deplore the actions of the Assad regime in the strongest possible terms.

SUBSEQUENT TO OUR INTERVIEW? Ms. Wintour is either disingenuous or has had an Hermès scarf pulled over her eyes.

Even if she had neglected to read the newspapers for the past decade, about five minutes worth or research would have dug up an abundance of damning information about the Assad dictatorship’s atrocious behavior before the revolution commenced last year.

For example, Mr. Assad . . .

  • Helped the Iraqi insurgency that was killing U.S. troops buy allowing its leaders to operate with impunity within Syria.
  • Routinely imprisons, tortures and kills political prisoners
  • Represses the Kurds who live within Syria’s borders
  • Is a state sponsor of terrorism, having lent military support to Hezbollah and allowed Hezbollah to attack Israel from Lebanon while permitting groups like Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command to maintain headquarters in Damascus.
  • Maintains weapons of mass destruction and sought to build a nuclear weapon.

There’s much more.

Speaking to the New York Times, the author of the article suggested an alternative rationale for running a profile of Mrs. Assad that had little to do with hope for “a more progressive society.” Mrs. Assad, she said is “extremely thin and very well-dressed, and therefore qualified to be in Vogue.”

Ms. Wintour, in addition to hosting Thursday’s event, is also one of Obama’s top fundraisers and has been mentioned as a possible Obama ambassador to her native Great Britain.

The White House and the Obama campaign are trying to demonize Mitt Romney’s supporters, from Donald Trump to the Koch Brothers.

As far as I know, these are law abiding American citizens who are being attacked by their own government. Their chief crime seems to be that they made a lot of money and are using it to support Romney. Now, really, is that worse than offering an outlet for a ruthless dictator to make himself seem nice?

In Obamaland, yes.

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38 Responses to Obama Fundraiser Provided PR Boost to Brutal Dictator

  1. Great article Kieth, thanks. If obama was going to cancel he would have done so already. He’ll be there with bells on and his hand out. I agree with RickW, he belongs in the definition of whore.

  2. In the world of Anna Wintour all is forgiven as long as you are thin, chic and rich. And she is what we over here call a caviar-leftist or as you say a limousine-liberal. She is ” The Devil wears Prada”.
    The world may fall apart but right now most men in this part of the world are glued to the TV sets because it is The European Soccer Championship hosted by Ukraina and Poland. This evening will be emotionally charged for the participants as Poland meets Russia. I hear the police is ready. History is never far away.

    • I was living in Italy during the ’94 world up when Italy hosted and went to the finals (and lost). During the final game….there was no traffic, no people on the streets….but when Italy scored, you could hear a group cheer go up all over town….it was a strange phenomenon for an American to witness. So I fully understand all the guys being glued to the TV.

      • Just2old, yes, it´s a big, big, big thing, only the World Soccer Championship is possibly bigger. You could argue that these events save the peace as the wars are fighted in the soccer arenas instead. I am certain the Mideast would be a better place if all those misguided young Muslim men were more into sports instead of staring at the Koran all day long.

  3. MissAnna’s world of fashion is non-judgemental about trivial things like politics, or ruthless dictators actions against their own people. She lives in a world of high-end fashion and caters to those who can afford to buy the best of everything. Who are these people: heirs to large fortunes, trust fund babies, oil shieks, arms dealers, drug dealers , million/billionaires or anyone who can pony up vast amounts of money.
    In “Vogue” is where she lives and works.
    And that makes her appearance in a promo ad to entice poor people to send money to MrObama’s campaign dinner so that they can dine with her, too just bizarre.
    Forget the Target crowd, even the Saks 5th Ave crowd would be out of place in this world.

    This reportedly hot-shot, crack election team of Obama’s is just flopping from one error in judgement to another. The “product” they promoted in 2008 was new, young and fresh and it turned out to be a flop with the public.
    Almost every move they make, every ad is an object of ridicule.

    • And I pray they keep doing this, over and over again.

      Nobody in this administration has ever learned from their mistakes. They live in such a bubble of yes-men, between the people that work there and the media. They just can’t see what we all see.

      • The Obama’s are starting to remind me of a wallis and Edward. Did nothing hung around with the Royals and hollywood types of the day.
        Lived beyond their means at the expense of others. They also had a
        bad habit of being around the wrong type of people like Hitler. She found him charming they are a lot like those two rejects. Michelle is more like Wallis than Jackie O craved an excess of clothes and jewels.

  4. Excdellenrt job reporting on what the MSm won’t bother to point out.

    Speaking of Anna Wintour, she’s busy with TWO fundraisers for BHO this week (not just the one on Thursday in NYC with Sarah Jessica Parker):

    Obama campaign fashion fund-raiser in Chicago today

    CHICAGO–The Obama fund-raising fashion team is throwing a “Runway to Win” fund-raiser tonight at Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios.

    The headliners: Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Iman, Chanel Iman, Rachel Roy from the fashion world and Jim Messina, the Obama campaign manager.

    The price list:

    x $1,000.00 VIP Guest
    Per person – Includes Photo Reception with Anna Wintour and Iman and Runway to Win limited edition bag

    x $2,500.00 Dinner and Photo ReceptionPer person – Includes Photo Reception and Dinner event following the reception with Anna Wintour, Iman and designers at Harpo Studios.

    http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2012/06/obama_campaign_fashion_fund-ra.html

  5. Excellent Keith
    I will be looking forward to hearing this being covered on all the evening news outlets. I mean how could they miss a sitting president rubbing elbows with a woman who published a puff piece on a member of the “axis of evil”
    Crickets Crickets and yes Crickets Again!

  6. Lovely.

    In addition, I see that Good Ol’ Joe will be in my neighborhood. The Sunset Center in Carmel, CA has a nice 700 seat auditorium that makes for great intimate concerts. We were there recently to see Lindsay Buckingham. I should have saved my $80 for this upcoming event, to get “intimate” with Joe Gaffe Biden!
    [By mid-level they refer to $2,500, and high-level refers to $15,000]
    “We have great news!
    On Wednesday, June 20th, Vice President Joe Biden will be visiting the Sunset Center from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. The Obama For America campaign has rented the venue for an intimate fundraising event. This event is open to the public and tickets are still available.

    Below is the link that will take you directly to the invitation to the event. When you click on the link, you will be directed to the page where you can sign up and donate to the event.

    The Vice President will give a speech to the larger audience in the Sunset Center auditorium, take photos with mid-level donors before his speech and meet with high-level donors.

  7. Thanks for doing this story, Keith. When I read that Wintour was an attendee at most of the Obama State dinners, I remembered the cover story and photo layout she did on MOOshelle Obama in Feb. 09. Along with Hillary Clinton and Asma Assad, no other first ladies have ever been photographed for Vogue. Somehow, I can’t imagine the Bushes or the Romneys associating with the Devil that wears Prada!

    It’s impossible that the Obamas are not aware of the Wintour connection to Assad. I’m hoping there will be hundreds of protesters tonight! Today, CNN is reporting that children are being tortured and used as human shields by the regime! Where has our cowardly POTUS been for the last YEAR? His silence on the Iranian revolution and Syria is deafening! He should be serving his next term in Federal prison!

    http://us.cnn.com/2012/06/12/world/meast/syria-unrest/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

    Today CNN is reporting that children are being tortured and used as human shields by the Syrian regime.

    • Vogue did a layout with MrsKennedy back in the day. In one of the photos she was leaning to one side on a couch while reading something.

      When Vogue did a layout with MrsObama, they shot a photo of her in the same position as MrsKenndy’s pose. Of course, that was back when MrsO was the “new” JackieO and one of the “best-dressed”.

      There is a link somewhere of these two photos. ??

        • I love the cover: “The First Lady the world’s been waiting for”. Oh, please give me a break. What’s been her big contribution? Telling us to make sure our kids get enough exercise and eat vegetables? Yes, we were just waiting decades for a FLOTUS to share that novel concept with us.

          Quoting the article:

          “I love clothes,” admits Michelle. “First and foremost, I wear what I love. That’s what women have to focus on – what makes them happy and what makes them feel comfortable and beautiful.

          “If I can have any impact, I want women to feel good about themselves and have fun with fashion.”

          So, in other words, in the midst of an “unprecedented” economic crisis, when American women and mothers were struggling just to survive (and still are), we were all just waiting for and in need of a VAPID first lady whose primary interest is fashion, or what she calls “fashion”. A FLOTUS as vapid as her idol, Beyonce. Sheesh, just go away already!

          • Today, she was interviewed by “The Insider.” (I had always thought this program interviewed second-rate celebs. Tonight proved I was right.) She touted the vegetable garden and, not using proper English, encouraged the GMC anchor to fight her illness. I wonder if FLOTUS’s fellow Princeton and Harvard alums are appalled at her use of poor English all designed to make her look like one of the people. Except (I hope) most of the people use proper English..

          • I hate to tell you, but she’s on all those “entertainment news” shows all the time. BHO is often covered on those shows also. I am so sick of this ridiculous crap.

  8. Excellent article Keith. Thank you for writing about this evil woman. What a blight on humanity the whole cabal of them are.

    She tries to excuse her glamorization of the butcher of Syria his and family with the most arrogant statement…

    Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society.

    Another failed experiment of the progressive (i.e., communist) left in America. I am ashamed this woman is a fellow American, and she needs to lose the helmet-head hair cut.

  9. Asma’s husband, Bashar al-Assad, was elected president in 2000, after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad, with a startling 97 percent of the vote. In Syria, power is hereditary.

    While I would never look to Vogue for factual political reporting, I can’t help but be amused… I had no idea Dictators were elected! And by 97 percent even. These Liberals… They need to find the On/Off switch for their brains, Engage!!

  10. And Hollywood wonders why their box office receipts are down? I will not buy the magazines or go to a theater to give them my money when this is what they support.